Influence of contact force on voltage mapping: A combined magnetic resonance imaging and electroanatomic mapping study in patients with tetralogy of Fallot

Heart Rhythm. 2018 Aug;15(8):1198-1205. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2018.03.022. Epub 2018 Mar 20.


Background: Voltage criteria for ventricular mapping have been obtained from small series of patients and prioritizing high specificity.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyse the potential influence of contact force (CF) on voltage mapping and to define voltage cutoff values for right ventricular (RV) scar using the tetralogy of Fallot as a model of transmural RV scar and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as reference.

Methods: Fourteen patients (age 32.6 ± 14.3 years; 5 female) with repaired tetralogy of Fallot underwent high-resolution cardiac MRI (1.25 × 1.25 × 2.5 mm). Scar, defined as pixels with intensity >50% maximum, was mapped over the RV geometry and merged within the CARTO system to RV endocardial voltage maps acquired using a 3.5-mm ablation catheter with CF technology (SmartTouch, Biosense Webster).

Results: In total, 2446 points were analyzed, 915 within scars and 1531 in healthy tissue according to MRI. CF correlated to unipolar (ρ = 0.186; P <.001) and bipolar voltage in healthy tissue (ρ = 0.245; P <.001) and in scar tissue. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis excluding points with very low CF (<5g) identified optimal voltage cutoffs of 5.19 mV for unipolar voltage and 1.76 mV for bipolar voltage, yielding sensitivity/specificity of 0.89/0.85 and 0.9/0.9, respectively.

Conclusion: CF is an important factor to be taken into account for voltage mapping. If good CF is applied, unipolar and bipolar voltage cutoffs of 5.19 mV and 1.76 mV are optimal for identifying RV scar on endocardial mapping with the SmartTouch catheter. Data on the diagnostic accuracy of different voltage cutoff values are provided.

Keywords: Bipolar; Contact force; Electroanatomic mapping; Endocardium; Magnetic resonance imaging; Tetralogy of Fallot; Unipolar; Voltage mapping; Voltage threshold.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Surface Potential Mapping / methods*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Female
  • Heart Conduction System / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology*
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / methods*
  • Male
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / physiopathology*
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / surgery